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Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe (right) and Andrew Li (left), president of the Contra Costa community college board, holding a proclamation apologizing for the city’s treatment of early Chinese residents. Photo: KTVU

A California city has formally apologized to early Chinese immigrants and their descendants for the historic injustices suffered at the hands of Antioch's founding community.

Why it matters: A rise in anti-Asian hate has focused attention on the United States' legacy of racism against Asian Americans. The treatment of Asian Americans today is directly connected to those early years, Antioch Mayor Lamar A. Thorpe said.

Background: Chinese who immigrated to California in the 19th century repeatedly faced racism, scapegoating and xenophobia, which the city says was at its peak between 1850 and 1870.

  • During that period, Antioch officially became a "sundown town," banning Chinese residents from walking city streets after sunset.
    • To commute between work and home, Chinese residents built a series of tunnels connecting the business district to their homes.
  • Like most of U.S., Antioch participated in "The Driving Out" and forcibly removed Chinese residents. On one particular day in 1876, white mobs gave Chinese residents until 3 p.m. to leave the city before burning Chinatown to the ground — "no exceptions," the city said.

What they're saying: "[T]he story of Chinese immigrants and the dehumanizing atrocities committed against them should not be purged from or minimized in the telling of Antioch’s history," the city said in its resolution.

  • The city also said it "must acknowledge that the legacy of early Chinese immigrants and xenophobia are part of our collective consciousness that helps contribute to the current anti-Asian-American and Pacific Islander hate."
  • Antioch is the first city in the U.S. to officially apologize for mistreatment of Chinese people, Thorpe said in a news conference last month.

Of note: Mexico's president also issued a formal apology this week for a 1911 massacre in which revolutionary troops slaughtered over 300 Chinese people, AP reports.

Go deeper: The centuries-long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

Go deeper

St. Pete's top mayoral candidates, in their element

Ken Welch with "Nala," his Harley, outside the Chattaway. Photo: Selene San Felice/Axios

St. Pete residents: Tomorrow is your last chance to cast a ballot for mayor. If you're still undecided, we sat down with the three leading candidates to see them in their element.

Ken Welch's life has revolved around wheels. He rides a Harley, he's driven for Uber, and now he wants to be in the driver's seat at St. Pete City Hall.

Who he is: Welch, fresh off of a 20-year run as a Pinellas County commissioner, is polling as the frontrunner among nine candidates for mayor. If he wins, he'd be the city's first Black mayor.

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).